lou jost
Wed, 28 Jul 2010 18:59:53 PDT
I am an orchid and carnivorous plant grower who uses coir a lot, and I also use coconut chips ( I do not think these are properly called "coir"). I buy mine from Black Jungle which advertises them as bedding for poison dart frogs, who would be very sensitive to salts.  I love the stuff, but I can hardly think of a medium I'd be less inclined to use on my geophytes. It stays wet for a very long time, especially in a big pot. Maybe if you live in a hot arid environment and grow in clay pots, it would make sense, but not in wet cool places. 

I find it most useful as an additive to mediums to increase the wettability of the medium. Mediums containing peat or tree-fern fiber, once dried out completely, are very hard to re-wet. Coir re-wets instantly, so I always add it to mixes containing non-wettable material.
It is also great for seedling orchids. So far I have not had salt problems, but I regard every brick with suspicion and at least give it a basic washing before use. 



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